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Rome Reports

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Five NBA players meet with Pope Francis to discuss social issues


A delegation from the National Basketball Players Association met with Pope Francis in the library of the Apostolic Palace.

Among those present were five players, Kyle Korver, Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Anthony Tolliver and Jonathan Isaac.

They each got a chance to share their different social initiatives with the pope.

“We all have so many things that are wrong with us and that are wrong with our society, and we see it and we know it.”

The pope thanked them for using basketball as a means to help solve social problems. He also praised them for setting an example of teamwork.

POPE FRANCIS
“The beauty of athletes is that they are great, but to be part of a team, they always remain humble.”

These athletes didn't come empty-handed. The pope happily accepted this golden Spalding basketball.

“Thank you, thanks so much.”

“Thank you for having us.”

“This is a book put together, you know, by the players association, of mediator things that us players have done to use our voices and to fight for equality, unity, justice.”

Jonathan Isaac gave him an autographed jersey...

“This is on behalf of the Orlando Magic and myself. Just the signed-- my jersey.”

“You?”

“Yes, that's me.”

...and a gift from J.U.M.P Ministries Global Church in Orlando, which the pope blessed.

The NBPA Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of its members while supporting people, communities and organizations that seek to better the lives of those in need.

CT